Father Moisés Torres Urzúa, MSP, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel, receives a Bible from parishioner Cecilia Rodríguez during a Mass in Sept. (Photos ICR/ Vero Gutiérrez)
By Vero Gutiérrez Staff writer
MOUNTAIN HOME —During September, Father Moisés Torres Urzúa, Missionary Servant of the Word (MSW) and Our Lady of the Good Counsel pastor, helped his parish renew their devotion to the Bible. For Catholics, September is the month of the Bible, as it closes with the feast of St. Jerome on September 30. St. Jerome dedicated his entire life to the study of Scripture and is best remembered for having created the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible.
“Let us remember that Sacred Scripture presents us with the history of salvation, but it is not a history that is distant or foreign to us. No, when we enter its pages, we realize that it is our history, our reality,” Fr. Father Torres said.
During the Mass on the last Sunday of September, he devoted a moment of his homily to emphasize that not only this month but throughout the year, people should maintain their enthusiasm for reading the Word of God in their own homes, both personally and as a family. “The home is a place of meeting and giving. There, we must choose a special place to pray, share the Word of God, and grow in faith and love,” said Father Torres.
He emphasized that as Christians of practical faith, we can all prepare for the Sunday Gospel, reading and meditating on it at home so that when sacred scripture is proclaimed from the ambo, we will be strengthened by the power that comes from the Word of the Lord.
“To read the Bible is to realize that it is God Himself who, through history and our reality, offers us the means for our salvation. It is Christ Jesus who speaks to us and guides us on the way.”
Fr. Torres affirmed, “For the Catholic Church, sacred scripture plays a vital role because in it we find the revelation of God and His will for all humanity. All of us must be convinced that attentive reading and reflection on the Word of God will help us in our daily lives. St. Paul says in 2 Timo-thy 4:16, ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly trained, thoroughly equipped to do every good thing.’”
Celebrating the month of the Bible was a new experience for the Anglo and Hispanic communities. At each Sunday Mass, before the Liturgy of the Word, there was a procession with the Bible, which was enthroned in a special place in front of the altar. At the end of the month, the community participated in a “Bible Fair” in one of the halls adjacent to the parish.
Luis Navarro, an MSW seminarian, coordinated the fair, which included different games for children at the end of each Mass. More than 72 children from the different catechism groups participated. They had fun playing games such as Bible Bingo, Corn Hole, Sin Takedown, Nerf Pistols, and entertainment contests. The children learned more about the Word of God and biblical characters through these games.
A youth group and children from St. Catherine’s Chapel in Hagerman, ID, which is part of Immaculate Conception Parish in Buhl, presented the “History of Salvation.” Having chosen passages from the Book of Genesis to the arrival of the Messiah and the proclamation of the Kingdom of God as told by the evangelists, the youth group made the Bible stories come alive with acting, dancing and singing.
Fernando Marez is one of the youths who helped this group of children put on the play. He belongs to Immaculate Conception Parish. Along with his entire family, he is part of a choir that accompanies the Sunday Masses in Buhl and the first bilingual Sunday Mass each month at St. Catherine’s Chapel.
Marez, who hopes to graduate this year from Boise State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, works on a potato truck and has time to support the projects of his older sisters, Cristina and Rosy, who were the coordinators of the theater performance.
“Even though I can’t be a hundred percent involved, my sisters are, except for my older sister, Maria Yesenia, 28, who is in a convent in Los Altos, California, where she is discerning a vocation to become a contemplative nun in the congregation of the Poor Clare Sisters.
Marez said with concern that in the student environment at BSU, “not everyone talks about Jesus,” so he likes to support these projects where he and his friends can help the little ones continue to learn and help others grow and mature in the faith.
“We have been helping the Missionary Servants of the Word with great joy. They are a great gift from God for Idaho. Like me, many young people are interested in participating in the activities that the missionaries get started; their love for God is contagious,” said Marez.
Jaime and Lina Renova, adult parishioners of Our Lady of the Valley in Caldwell and members of Community Evangelizing for Reconciliation and Service (CERS), gave a presentation on the books of the Bible.
They explained to the congregation that the Bible is a divinely inspired set of books which tells the story of God’s relationship with humanity.
Children from St. Catherine’s Chapel in Hagerman present the “History of Salvation”. (Photos ICR/ Vero Gutiérrez)
The Renovas noted the Bible is divided into two distinct parts known as the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament, which consists of 48 books, tells the history of the people of Israel, while the New Testament, which consists of 27 books, was writ-ten by followers of Jesus Christ. Both the Old and New Testaments are considered divinely inspired. The first four books of the New Testament are the Gospels, which tell of the major events and teachings of Jesus, culminating in His death and resurrection.
The Bible was compiled over a period of more than a thousand years. During that time, various writers used oral and written traditions to tell the powerful story of God’s work in human history. The Renovas emphasized the importance of teaching children and youth how to read the Bible. Briefly, they explained how the Scriptures are divided into chapters and verses to make it easier to locate each biblical passage.
Knights of Columbus Council 3703, Father D.L. McElligott and a group of catechism volunteers were the sponsors and hosts of the breakfast and lunch for those who attended the Mass and Bible Fair.
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